Nanocontact Electrification through Forced Delamination of Dielectric Interfaces

This article reports patterned transfer of charge between conformal material interfaces through a concept referred to as nanocontact electrification. Nanocontacts of different size and shape are formed between surface-functionalized polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) stamps and other dielectric materials (PMMA, SiO2). Forced delamination and cleavage of the interface yields a well-defined charge pattern with a minimal feature size of 100 nm. The process produces charged surfaces and associated fields that exceed the breakdown strength of air, leading to strong long-range adhesive forces and force−distance curves, which are recorded over macroscopic distances. The process is applied to fabricate charge-patterned surfaces for nanoxerography demonstrating 200 nm resolution nanoparticle prints and applied to thin film electronics where the patterned charges are used to shift the threshold voltages of underlying transistors.